A Concise Manual of Catholic Action

  • A Concise Manual of Catholic Action
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A Concise Manual of Catholic Action

Monsignor Luigi Civardi

Catholic Action draws its inspiration from the altar and commences with an understanding of what the Popes and the Church expect of us.  For that, a reading of Msgr. Civardi's book is imperative.  No serious apostolate can afford to be without this volume - a training manual and field manual under one cover. Place your order today.

If you need more proof of the value of this book, and more reasons why you should be ordering a supply of them, consider the immense importance the Church places on the organized lay apostolate of Catholic Action …

Here We will only call to mind the many good works undertaken for the welfare of the Church, of society, and of individuals under the general name of Catholic Action, which, by the grace of God, flourish throughout the world.  Immense is the field of Catholic Action; it excludes absolutely nothing which in any way, directly or indirectly, belongs to the divine mission of the Church.  It is plainly necessary to take part individually in a work so important, not only for the sanctification of our own souls, but also in order to spread and more fully open out the Kingdom of God in individuals, families and society, each one working according to his strength for his neighbor's good, by the diffusion of revealed truth, the exercise of Christian virtue, and the spiritual and corporal works of charity and mercy.

  • Catholic Action, by proposing to restore all things in Christ, becomes a real apostolate for the honor and glory of Christ Himself. – Pope Saint Pius X

  • Catholic Action must be viewed by the bishops as a necessary extension of their office, and by the faithful as a sacred duty of Christian life …

  • The apostolate of Catholic Action is obligatory upon priests as much as upon the laity, though each enters upon it in a different way …

  • The world will either be saved by Catholic Action, well directed and intensely applied, or it will be lost by an atheistic, tyrannical and false bolshevism. – Pope Pius XI

  • Today dikes are broken and evil rushes onward like a torrent which destroys cities and countryside and submerges beneath its unclean and disease-laden waters whole populations … To react openly and firmly against such great evils is a primordial duty of … Catholic Action …

  • The time has come when the laity must take their place by the side of their consecrated leaders in the urgent task of bringing the teachings of Christ to those who know Him not.  This is the most urgent task facing our laity and the form of Catholic Action closest to the Heart of Christ.

  • Catholic Action must be more than the simple banding together of the Catholic faithful.  Its final end is to win back what has been lost and to make new conquests … to win back men to Christ and to the Church … We want Jesus to reign over the whole world … In your thoughts, your aspirations, your works, place the apostolate – the spread of the Kingdom of Christ – above everything else …

  • Thus prepared, trained and united, the members of Catholic Action will press forward as apostles into every field of society in all directions, wherever there are souls to conquer for Christ, wherever there is a center or meeting ground of individual or collective life, over which Christ Our Lord must reign …

  • Catholic Action is the hope of the Church in restoring the Reign of Christ in the world. – Pope Pius XII


Apostolic Blessing of Pope Pius XI  

Preface by Archbishop Amleto Giovanni Cicognani  

Introduction by Hugh Akins

I. The Ends of Catholic Action – Interior and Exterior Aims  – To Announce Christ to the World – The Coming of Christ’s Kingdom – The Feast of Christ the King is the Feast of Catholic Action – Religious Aim – Social Aim – Integral Aim – Missionary Action – Cooperation with the Religious Life – Catholic Action and the Parish – Diffusion of Christian Culture – The Christianization of the Family – Defense of the Rights and Liberty of the Church – Cooperation in the Scholastic Field – The Catholic Press – Public Morality – The Christian Solution of the Social Problem – The Christian Inspiration of the Whole of Social Life – Formation of Consciences – Religious, Moral, Social Formation – Apostolic Formation

II. The Apostolate of Catholic Action – The Two Main Divisions of Catholic Action – Catholic Action is an Apostolate – A Lay Apostolate – The Church and the Laity – Many Called, Few Chosen – Auxiliary to the Hierarchy – Mandatory to the Hierarchy – Dignity of Catholic Action – An Apostolate of Duty – An Obligatory Apostolate – A Precept of the Church – A Duty of Charity Towards God – A Duty of Charity Towards One’s Neighbor – The Teaching of the “Our Father” – An Obligation Arising From Baptism – An Obligation Arising From Confirmation – Confirmation is the Sacrament of Catholic Action – Warfare and Apostolate – The Duty of Catholic Action – A Universal Apostolate

III. The System of Catholic Organization – The Efficacy and Utility of Organization – Jurisdictional Hierarchy – Central, Diocesan and Parochial Elements – Unitary Form with National Basis – Unity and Multiplicity – Coordinated Organs – Autonomy of Forces – The Structure of Catholic Action – A Real Army – The Formation of members – The Diffusion of Good – The Organization of Good is the Multiplication of Good – The Hindrance of Evil

IV. The Necessity of Catholic Action – Paganized Society – Combating Organized Evil – The Effects of Secularism – How Catholic Action Began – Army versus Army – Front-Line Forces of the Counterrevolution – Pontifical Declarations – The Insufficiency of the Clergy – The Clergy not Numerous Enough – Expropriation of the Clergy – It Cannot Suffice for the Vastness of the Task – Catholic Action is the Long Arm of the Priest – Catholic Action is not a Novelty – New and Old Catholic Action – Answering Objections – Nothing Can Be Substituted for Catholic Action – Not Other Catholic Associations or Good Works – Not the State – Not State Institutions – Legitimacy of Catholic Action

V. Lay Direction – Subordinate Direction – Executive Direction in the Practical Order – Executive Authority – The Competency of the Two Powers – Reasons for Lay Direction – Union with the Hierarchy

VI. Catholic Action and the Clergy – The Role of the Clergy in Catholic Action – The Duty of the Clergy – The Formation of Lay Apostles the Noblest work of the Clergy in the Catholic Action Field – The Holy See Assigns this Task to Priests – The Nature of Christ’s Priesthood – The Nature of Catholic Action

VII. Catholic Action and Politics – The Authority of the Church in Political Matters – Separatist Theory of Liberalism – Legitimate Intervention of the Church – The Church and Political Parties – Catholic Action Distinct From Parties – Superior to Parties – Education for Political Life – Religious Action in the Political Field – The Conduct of Catholics in the Political Field – Duty of Social Charity – The Duty of Defending and Promoting Religious Interests

VIII. Catholic Action and Social-Economic Works – The Church and Social Questions – Aims of Economic-Social Action – The Call of the Holy See – An Exhortation of Pius XI

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